MEPS 343:183-191 (2007)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps06879

Contrasted patterns of genetic variation in the dogwhelk Nucella lapillus along two putative post-glacial expansion routes

Isabelle Colson1,2, Roger N. Hughes1,*

1School of Biological Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor, Deiniol Road, Bangor LL57 2UW, UK
2Present address: Zoologisches Institut, Evolutionsbiologie, Universität Basel, Vesalgasse 1, 4051 Basel, Switzerland
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: During the last glacial maximum, the dogwhelk Nucella lapillus, like many other rocky shore species, was eradicated from the west Atlantic and largely confined to southern refugia in the east Atlantic. Using microsatellite markers, we studied the geographical distribution of population genetic diversity of N. lapillus along 2 putative post-glacial expansion routes: northward along the east Atlantic shores of Europe, and westward across the Atlantic via Iceland to North America. The patterns of genetic diversity and genetic structure along these 2 routes indicate that the “trans-Atlantic” expansion involved a stepping-stone migration from Europe to Iceland to North America, with rare long-distance dispersal causing serial bottleneck effects. Along the east Atlantic route, however, long-distance dispersal seems to have occurred more often. These observations, underpinned by hydrography, suggest that rafting could be a major agent of dispersal for marine species lacking planktonic life stages.


KEY WORDS: Nucella lapillus · Phylogeography · Post-glacial expansion · Dispersal · Hydrography


Full text in pdf format 
Cite this article as: Colson I, Hughes RN (2007) Contrasted patterns of genetic variation in the dogwhelk Nucella lapillus along two putative post-glacial expansion routes. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 343:183-191. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps06879

Export citation
Mail this link - Contents Mailing Lists - RSS
- -